"Important to move to Phase Two to hold Brexiter promises to account'

The SNP Members of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith have today (Wednesday) reluctantly backed a compromise resolution of the Parliament to approve the Brexit negotiations moving to the next Phase, to widen talks to include the future relationship between Scotland the UK and the EU.  The final resolution was approved by 556 votes to 62 with 68 abstentions and now goes to the member state governments for their likely approval tomorrow.

Speaking earlier in the debate, Alyn Smith MEP said:

"I will be supporting the resolution this afternoon in the votes.

"I do so with a sense of real sadness, and not a little anger, both personally and on behalf of the people I represent.

"Scotland did not want this. Scotland voted against this. This is not in Scotland’s name.

"But we do need – and I say it through gritted teeth – to move on to Phase 2 of the negotiations. For too many people in the UK, Brexit remains white noise, a false equivalence aided by an industrial-scale spin machine telling us that somehow we’ll have our cake and eat it; it will be alright on the night because we’re special; we’re British.

"People need to see the detail. The line by line, the policy by policy, the nitty-gritty. People need to see what they’re going to lose for Brexit to become real.

"In Phase 2, the promises of the shysters and charlatans who have so disgraced themselves in their conduct even today in this debate will be shown as what they are. A cruel deception on the people they claim to serve.

"This is the end of the beginning of this Brexit negotiation. I look forward to Phase 2 where we’ll hold them to account"

Ian Hudghton MEP said:

“The SNP has in Scotland, at Westminster and here in Strasbourg had the rights of EU nationals in Scotland, and Scots across the EU forefront of our efforts.   We have seen some progress in the talks, not as much as we would like but we believe on balance the best way to give people the clarity they deserve is to move the talks forward.

“The understandings agreed so far on citizens will be incorporated into the next stage of the talks as a legal obligations and that will ensure that we will build on the results to date.  The Parliament will continue to be a strong advocate for our citizens."